Cat Marnell credits the late graffiti artist SAME with helping her navigate her career and New York society.
“When my career popped off — it was him behind the scenes, driving the magic in my life that led to the crazy stories I used to tell in my work for xoJane and my Vice column ‘Amphetamine Logic,’” she said, adding that she included stories about SAME in her memoir.
“One of my favorite lines in the book came directly from SAME’s mouth: that he wanted to ‘skin Tavi and wear her to Fashion Week,’” she recalled.
Marnell met SAME, whose real name was Christopher Johnson, when she was 19 years old. She lived with him, influencer Josh “Fat Jew” Ostrovsky, Sebastian Bear-McClard (who is married to Emily Ratajkowski) and other pals in San Francisco.
Johnson ended up forming the rap trio Team Facelift with Ostrovsky and Alden Fonda and enlisted Marnell to be the “video vixen” for their 2006 “Lotion in a Basket” video.
“The group put me in the ocean at 2 in the morning and sent me out in the waves,” she remembered. “I worshipped SAME. He was so cool that people called him Mr. Menthol. He used to dress in promotional cigarette gear. He was so creative.”
Marnell, who publicly battled drug addiction, attributes the positive turnaround in her life to Johnson, who looked out for her when she was struggling in New York.
“I started hanging out with SAME the most about ten years ago when I was in a bad place and really lonely,” she explained to us. “He put his arm around me and introduced me to everyone downtown, and I was cool and popular within a year. He influenced the influencers.”
One of her most notable and fondest memories of Johnson stemmed from his “eat-the-rich mentality,” which culminated when he attempted to steal a car from a house in the Hamptons.
“I’ll never forget one weekend when we were in Bridgehampton staying at [actor] Kevin Sorbo’s party house mansion for some art benefit thing,” she recalled. “Hiltons were there, the whole bit.”
According to Marnell, Sorbo had brought in SAME, MINT, NEWS and SERF from the city to do graffiti murals but they arrived at his house only to be given children’s beds in the same room to sleep in, “like the Peter Pan kids.”
“SAME was not feeling the vibe and was setting the pool noodles on fire by 2 a.m. and by dawn he was fishing around in the dish of keys in the front parlor, trying to find a rich person’s car for a joyride,” Marnell continued. “I was awake and it was dawn; I was like, ‘Same, don’t!’ But he kept trying to beep these cars open — all the BMWs and Range Rovers and stuff outside.
“Finally he got a match and he drove off away from the mansion,” she added, noting she didn’t think he had a driver’s license.
“Later we found out that he took the housekeeper’s car by mistake … Our hosts rightfully hated us from that point on and we all got sent back to the city,” she said.
“It was chaotic and amazing. Just like SAME.”
Reps for Sorbo didn’t return Page Six’s requests for comment.
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